Do You Need A Publisher To Be Successful?

By on March 18, 2016
Do You Need A Publisher To Be Successful? - Writer's Life.org

In the last decade or so we have seen the publishing industry dramatically change. The move from traditional publishing to self-publishing and digital publishing has changed the industry forever. Over the past few years we have seen the number of self-publishers increase, and, not only that, the number of truly successful self-publishers, who may not have been discovered had they gone down the more traditional publishing route, is also rising quickly.

So the big question for authors now is, do you really need a publisher to be successful? Where is the book business headed? Can I really make it on my own?

Of course no one can predict the future, but we can look at what is happening now and make an educated guess, and it doesn’t look like the future for traditional publishers is looking quite as rosy as one might expect.

Amazon continues to grow, and with great growth comes great power. Think about it, when was the last time you headed out to a bookshop to buy a book? The convenience of Kindle means many of us now will simply download books to read, rather than buying physical copies. Buying used books for a fraction of the price also has massive appeal for readers who love to build up their book collection but don’t want to bankrupt themselves in the process.

Publishers have never really bothered to connect with their customers like Amazon has. Amazon thinks about what the modern reader wants, and makes sure it is always coming up with new ways to improve and enhance that experience.

If publishers don’t make a move to try to get to know readers, and to listen to their needs in the same way, then it could easily spell the end for them. If they reach out to customers, connect with them and communicate with them, they may still stand a chance.

Self publishing tools for budding authors are becoming far more accessible in terms of ease and affordability. Many reputable self-publishing houses will now edit, design a cover and print your book for a reasonable fee, as well as offer it to the trade (so it can be sold through big, well-known, respected online stores such as Barnes and Noble). This way the profit for the book goes directly to the author, and if they already have a following, or work hard at publicising their work to obtain one, then this route is almost always more appealing. Even well known authors such as J.A. Konrath and David Gaughran have decided that self-publishing provides a better, more lucrative model then sticking with the traditional publishing house.

This way the profit for the book goes directly to the author, and if they already have a following, or work hard at publicizing their work to obtain one, then this route is almost always more appealing. Even well-known authors such as J.A. Konrath and David Gaughran have decided that self-publishing provides a better, more lucrative model then sticking with the traditional publishing house.

While it is still many a writers dream to have their work picked up by a publishing house, in the future this may not be the norm. The chances of getting a good deal and becoming well known are already slim enough, and if getting ones book ‘out there’ into the public domain is the most important thing, then the traditional publishing route is perhaps not the best option anyway.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

About Ty Cohen

One Comment

  1. Michael E. Schmidlen

    March 21, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Outstanding post, I’ve shared it on LI, fb & twitter! Thank You!

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